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Columbia Law School

2020

Economics

Financial crisis

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Stress Testing During Times Of War, Kathryn Judge Jan 2020

Stress Testing During Times Of War, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

The COVID crisis raises important questions about the role of stress testing during periods of systemic distress. Should stress testing of banks be abandoned? Modified? Proceed as scheduled? Different jurisdictions have taken different tacks, reflecting contestation over these fundamental issues. This essay argues that stress tests become more important, not less, in the midst of systemic distress, but only if the stress scenarios are modified to reflect the distinct challenges an economy is facing. Well-designed stress tests can provide critical information to policy makers and others, promoting more timely efforts to address underlying weaknesses. Given that regulators will rationally be ...